Quantcast

Pick the Winner: 32 Endangered Animals Face Off in March Sadness Bracket

Animals

Are you worried about what climate change is doing to the Earth's innocent animals?

Elephants face off against mountain goats in the second round of the "Horns & Hooves" category. Photo credit: Brandon Daniel/Creative Commons

Then you'll want to participate in ClimateProgress' March Sadness: A Bracket Battle of Cute Animals, now underway. Thirty-two animals threatened by climate change and environmental degradation were selected to compete. The bracket divided the animals into four categories: Paws and Claws, Fins and Flippers, Horns and Hooves, and Shells and Wings. One animal out of the 32 that began round one almost two weeks ago will emerge as champion after the final round of voting April 6. Voting takes place via Twitter using the hashtag #CPMarchSadness and via comments on the ClimateProgress Facebook page.

"The creatures within this bracket were lovingly chosen by ClimateProgress’ staff, based both on their cuteness and the severity of the environmental threat they face," says ClimateProgress. "They were ranked semi-arbitrarily, but with our perceived likelihood of how popular each animal would be in mind."

One of the primary goals of March Sadness is education. As part of each round, readers learn more about each animal and how it's being endangered by climate change impacts such as drought, sea level rise and rising temperatures. The "winner" will get a deep-dive story put together by a ClimateProgress research team, detailing the extent of the climate threats to that particular animal.

"The basis for how you vote is up to you—you can choose the animal you like the most, the one you think is the cutest, or if you’re really into the end-game of the competition, the one you’d most like to read a deep-dive feature story about," says Climate Progress.

There's still plenty of time to vote; the final round takes place April 6. Image credit: ClimateProgress

Some of the voting has been predictable, but not all of it. Among the animals who started off the round of 32 were favorites like the polar bear, which has already advanced to the round of eight, and sea otter, which beat out the less adorable walrus despite the walrus pileup last fall on Alaska beaches due to melting sea ice. And the beautiful butterfly trounced the gooey gray oyster. But panda and koala are already out of the running. Instead, the wolverine has advanced to the round of eight in the Paws and Claws category. Last summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to protect wolverines as an official threatened species although fewer than 300 exist in the contiguous 48 states.

Currently, the round of 16 is wrapping up, with voting going in the Horns and Hooves and Shells and Wings category. Elephant is facing mountain goat, and narwhal is taking on moose in the former category, while the latter features the contests of sea turtle vs red knot and butterfly vs peregrine falcon.

"ClimateProgress recognizes that there are many, many more than 32 types of animals facing real and terrible threats from climate change and other environmental problems—not to mention the billions of people who will be affected," say the contest organizers. "Due to human activity, the Earth has lost half its vertebrate species since 1970. Believe us, if we had unlimited time and resources, we’d do them all!"

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

35,000 Walruses Invade Alaska Beach As Climate Change Melts Sea Ice

Half the World's Animal Population Vanished Since 1970

Undersea Superheroes Save Imperiled Marine Life

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Individual standing in Hurricane Harvey flooding and damage. Jill Carlson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis

Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Read More Show Less
A pregnant woman works out in front of the skyline of London. SHansche / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.

Read More Show Less
Ten feet of water flooded 20 percent of this Minot, North Dakota neighborhood in June 2011. DVIDSHUB / CC BY 2.0

By Jared Brey

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle last October, it killed at least 43 people, caused an estimated $25 billion in damage and destroyed thousands of homes.

Read More Show Less
A protestor holds up her hand covered with fake oil during a demonstration on the U.C. Berkeley campus in May 2010. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

Read More Show Less

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Read More Show Less
Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

Read More Show Less